A Lucky Lunar New Year
A peek into the lives of Aztecs and their annual Lunar New Year celebrations.
Feb 18, 2023
Hungry family members linger round the table of untouched foods as children chaotically run around the house and the kitchen runs busy, prepping for more delicious platters. The overwhelming scent across the house was nostalgic of a grandmother’s flavorful recipe that was made to bring in luck for the Lunar New Year.
The recipe was rooted into senior Sebastian Ramirez Wong’s family cookbook with a special twist of new flavors every year. Despite the changes made to the original recipe, these new additions only add more to the meaning of the Wong family hot pot tradition.
“Hot pot is not only a traditional dish in my culture, but it’s an activity that gets the family together to enjoy a good meal,” Ramirez Wong said.
For junior Susana Briggs, a Chinese hot pot carries reminiscence of her home in China, like an embrace from her family and warm laughs shared across the table. Assembling the popular Chinese New Year’s dish was Briggs’ way of cherishing her Chinese heritage while symbolizing the heart of family to celebrate the coming of more cherished moments in the new year.
“My favorite memory was when we made homemade meatballs and that broth was entirely created from scratch,” Briggs said. “We have been doing this for so long that it became a family staple.”
While the traditional hot pot is a staple in many Lunar New Year celebrations, the giving of red envelopes is a special tradition loved by children young and old by families celebrating the New Year. Senior Jennifer Zacky, although graduating soon, still participates in the red envelope tradition with her family, symbolizing the coming of a new year filled with luck and good wishes.
“This tradition brings me back to my childhood memories when we would visit our neighbors and relatives and say ‘Happy Chinese New Year,’” Zacky said. “Lunar New Year is when I can stay connected to my culture by reminding me of where I come from, the people that have come before me, what brought me here, and my family history.”